John Terry’s final minute as a Chelsea player will never be forgotten

  • Rob Swan
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John Terry is not only one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players but he’s also one of the best footballers that we’ve seen during the Premier League era.

Many football fans would argue that Terry is certainly the best centre-back in Premier League history.

And there will be plenty who’d claim that he’s also the greatest captain of the Premier League era.

Terry was a formidable leader and competitor on the pitch. Brave as a lion, the defender was always prepared to put his body on the line for his team.

He spent the vast majority of his career at Stamford Bridge and left in 2017, 22 years after joining the club as a youngster, with a host of winners’ medals.

The revered centre-back won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea’s Player of the Year in 2000-01 and 2005-06, Terry deserved an extra special send-off from the Blues faithful at the end of his final season at the club.

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Video: John Terry's final minute as a Chelsea player

But it’s still hard to believe that Terry’s final game with Chelsea saw him leave the pitch in the 26th minute of a Premier League fixture against Sunderland with a guard of honour from his teammates.

Why the 26th minute? Because that was Terry’s famous shirt number at Chelsea.

Relegated Sunderland were only playing for pride at the time but it’s still rather baffling that this mid-game send-off was allowed to happen.

Only a genuine Premier League legend like Terry could get away with it.

What was said about John Terry's Chelsea send-off?

Many were critical of the stunt, including the Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer Alan Shearer, who said on Match of the Day: “First of all (Terry) has been an absolute giant of the Premier League, 717 appearances, 15 trophies, but I’m not sure about this.

“Sunderland agreeing to kick the ball out on 26 minutes, I don’t think anything should be done that could undermine the integrity of the game.

“I know it was done with good intentions and he deserves the guard of honour, but it should have been before or after the game or in the last minute.”

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An investigation was carried out by the Football Association but Terry, Chelsea and Sunderland all avoided punishment after the FA’s integrity unit found no evidence of spot-fixing.

Punters made money from Terry's 26th-minute substitution

However, three gamblers correctly predicted that Terry would leave the pitch in the 26th minute and put money on before the game at odds of 100-1.

"We replied to a novelty request for odds on John Terry's substitution - one of hundreds on the Chelsea game - and fair play to the three punters who were on at odds of 100-1," a Paddy Power spokesman said at the time.

"To be honest the only mistake here is we should have clocked sooner there'd be another cringe-worthy Chelsea send-off for JT."

Two of the successful betting slips were shared on social media, with punters raking in £2,525 and £1,010 from stakes of £25 and £10, respectively.

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